Tennessee law makes distributing abortion medication by mail a felony subject to $50,000 fine
Following Gov. Bill Lee's signing of legislation that makes distributing abortion medication via mail or telehealth service a Class E felony carrying a $50,000 fine, Nashville physician Dr. Katrina Green spoke out in opposition to the measure.
In a statement released by the healthcare advocacy group Protect My Care, Green noted that current abortion medication distributed in pill form is both safe and effective. Restricting access to these medicines, Green said, endangers the safety of women and limits reproductive healthcare options.
“Reproductive health care must be available to all who need it, instead of politicians making that decision for us. Since I’ve been a doctor, abortion has been safe, protected and available to my patients. I have counseled countless patients who’ve become unexpectedly pregnant and come to my emergency department, informing them of the choices available to them.
“When taken early in pregnancy, these pills are safe and extremely effective,” Dr. Green continued. “As an emergency physician, my job is to care for people in my emergency department on what is likely one of the worst days of their lives. When a woman comes to the ER and I have to deliver devastating news, she should expect to hear sound medical advice about what to do to prevent her illness or death. This medication is often used for patients that have ectopic pregnancies, or a pregnancy that implants outside the uterus. It is also used to help women who have had a miscarriage that has not resolved itself spontaneously. These are potentially life-threatening medical conditions, and I worry that limiting access to these medicines will ultimately harm people in our state.”
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved dispensing of this medication through mail delivery and telehealth consultation.